Pastel-colored gelato is used to top mini cupcakes, but you can substitute sorbet or ice cream. The one-bowl vanilla cupcakes are baked in paper nut cups, available at craft-supply stores, or you can use mini muffin tins lined with paper liners. For an authentic Italian touch, serve with small plastic ice-cream spoons.
- Yield: 48 mini
- 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 large whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Gelato in assorted flavors, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange 48 paper nut cups on large rimmed baking sheets. Into a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add whole egg and yolk, the warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat until well combined and smooth.
- Divide batter evenly among cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool completely. (If using muffin tins, let cupcakes cool 30 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool completely.) Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.
- Wrap a rimmed baking sheet with plastic, pulling taut over top of sheet. Scoop gelato using a 2-inch ice-cream scoop (or a 1½-inch scoop for cupcakes baked in mini muffin tins), gently dropping scoops onto the plastic wrap as you work. Freeze until set, about 30 minutes. To finish, place a scoop of gelato on each cupcake, and serve immediately.